Reproduced with kind permission of Frances Lincoln

Reproduced with kind permission of Frances Lincoln

Jason is given a notebook by his teacher and asked to write down his thoughts and feelings. Jason isn’t too keen at first, but as he wants to avoid getting into yet more trouble at school, he dutifully records all the fights, confusion and general mayhem that happens to him. The result is often hilarious – this boy is most definitely a trouble magnet – but his life takes a sinister turn with the arrival of his Mum’s boyfriend Jon, and his “diary” starts to be the means by which he works out how to get both himself and his mother out of trouble. This is a very funny book, capturing a compelling teenage voice, and unfolding an ultimately heart-warming story of how broken families can mend. It’s based on the author’s experiences of teaching students with behavioural difficulties, and he has given his narrator a real personality with which you can relate, and a story that seems all too genuine. I enjoyed Jason’s story and it left me with that feel-good factor. Recommended for 11+. Rating: ***

Frances Lincoln, 2012, ISBN 9781847802682